Jan. 29, 2002
Jennie Finch threw her third consecutive no-hitter to help lead UA to an 8-0 softball exhibition victory over Central Arizona College Tuesday, but CAC made it interesting with a bit of a power display in the second game, which UA won, 8-3.
Finch struck out 11 and completed her preseason work 3-0 with 39 strikeouts in 18 innings of pitching, with two walks. UA officially opens its regular season at 4 p.m. Friday at home against Alabama.
In the second game, CAC's Lettie Gonzales led off the second inning with a double off UA pitcher Jenny Gladding, then Ana Vega homered to left and Kaydi Forgia homered to right field to give Central a 3-0 lead.
Leneah Manuma hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth after a single by Courtney Fossatti to give UA the winning runs. The blast triggered a UA six-run rally, including a two-run triple by Carrie Hagen.
CAC pitcher Andrea Nyhus had scattered four hits until the sixth. She finished with seven strikeouts and 10 hits allowed against the defending NCAA Division I champions. After the CAC second inning, Gladding walked two but did not allow a hit over the final five innings. She struck out eight.
Manuma's lead-off home run in the first game gave UA a 1-0 lead in the second inning. UA added three more in the bottom of the third on four hits, a wild pitch and two errors on one play.
UA threatened to blow open the game in the fifth. A single by Finch, a double by Jackie Coburn and a walk by Crystal Farley loaded the bases, and Lisha Ribellia drew a walk to drive in one run. But CAC pitcher Danielle Hatfield got Lovieanne Jung to fly to center to end the inning.
Mackenzie Vandergeest doubled in a run after Fossatti singled in the sixth. Manuma and Finch walked to load the bases again. Coburn forced pinch-runner Carrie Hagen at the plate with a fielder's choice, then Candace Abrams doubled in two runs to end the game on the right-run mercy rule.
Trisha Tornberg's hard liner to left in the top of the sixth was the closest Central Arizona came to a hit.
UA officially opens its regular season at 4 p.m. Friday at home against Alabama.
MEDIA ADVISORY: UA softball Media Day will be held at Hillenbrand Stadium Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 3 p.m. .